Harris Posts Third BFL Victory at Phoenix Bass Fishing League Event at High Rock Lake

Co-angler Hughes Wins Strike King Co-Angler Division

LEXINGTON, N.C. (March 27, 2023) – Boater Todd Harris of Lexington, North Carolina, caught a five-bass limit weighing 22 pounds, 5 ounces, Saturday to win the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League (BFL) Presented by T-H Marine on High Rock Lake. The tournament was the second event of the year for the BFL North Carolina Division. Harris earned $4,119 for his victory.

“I’m a little bit sore today. It was a lot of rough water and wind,” said Harris when he was interviewed on Sunday. “I had a really good practice and found some giant females that had already moved into their spawning grounds. They weren’t spawning, but they were really close, and I thought I could catch 20 pounds.

“I ran in there and tried to make that work for at least a couple of hours and never had a bite, so I decided to go to my backup pattern and flip piers around cover,” Harris said.

The flipping began to work for Harris, and he caught two keepers before he decided he had to regroup.

“I took a little break and started to think, ‘Where would they be?’” Harris said. “So, I decided to run in the wind and fish flat shoals next to spawning grounds. When that light bulb came on, I started to catch them.”

Harris said he caught his fish in 3 to 5 feet of water on the main river, and in Abbott’s Creek, with custom flat-sided crankbaits he makes. He said he caught one of his biggest bass on a Strike King 1.5 crankbait he custom painted. Harris had seven keeper bites during the tournament and landed six of the bass.

“High Rock is my home lake, and I’ve won here before, but this one is a lot sweeter because I’m older now and I’m retired,” Harris said. “My last win came in 2014, so it’s been a while, and I always wanted that third one.”

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament:

1st:        Todd Harris, Lexington, N.C., five bass, 22-5, $4,119
2nd:       Josh Stafford, Kernersville, N.C., five bass, 21-3, $2,059
3rd:       Robert Mixon, Lexington, N.C., five bass, 20-2, $1,374
4th:        Bradley Staley, Sophia, N.C., five bass, 18-14, $1,181
5th:        Chad Sims, Lancaster, S.C., five bass, 17-12, $1,024
6th:        Tommy Jones, Salisbury, N.C., five bass, 16-14, $755
7th:        Larry Whittington, Purlear, N.C., five bass, 16-11, $686
8th:        Charlie Saucier, New Orleans, La., five bass, 16-0, $618
9th:        Austin Wike, Salisbury, N.C., five bass, 15-13, $549
10th:     Jacob Adams, Hamptonville, N.C., four bass, 15-12, $480

Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Joseph Floyd of Charlotte, North Carolina, caught a bass that weighed 7 pounds, 11 ounces, and earned the Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $565.

Mark Hughes of Lexington, North Carolina, won the Strike King co-angler division and a total of $2,059 Saturday, after bringing five bass to the scale that totaled 17 pounds, 8 ounces.

The top 10 Strike King co-anglers finished:

1st:        Mark Hughes, Lexington, N.C., five bass, 17-8, $2,059
2nd:       Christopher Davis, Roanoke Rapids, N.C., four bass, 14-8, $1,030
3rd:       David Deciucis, Chester, Va., five bass, 13-2, $687
4th:        Chip Crews, Trinity, N.C., five bass, 12-15, $480
5th:        Andy Kearns, High Point, N.C., four bass, 11-1, $412
6th:        Greg Fox, Bonita Springs, Fla., two bass, 9-12, $860
7th:        Dustan Hudson, Grover, N.C., three bass, 9-8, $343
8th:        Stacy Metz, Staley, N.C., two bass, 9-1, $309
9th:        Lewis Brown, Asheboro, N.C., four bass, 9-0, $275
10th:     Arthur Harris, York, S.C., four bass, 8-15, $240

Greg Fox of Bonita Springs, Florida, earned the Berkley Big Bass co-angler award of $282, catching a bass that weighed in at 6 pounds, 7 ounces – the largest co-angler catch of the day.

After two events, Todd Harris of Lexington, North Carolina, leads the BFL North Carolina Division Boater Angler of the Year (AOY) race with 482 points, while Arthur Harris of York, South Carolina, leads the Strike King Co-Angler Division AOY race with 479 points.

The top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the region based on point standings, along with the five tournament winners of each qualifying event, will qualify for the Oct. 5-7 BFL Regional tournament on the Potomac River in Marbury, Maryland. Boaters will fish for a top award of $60,000, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard and $10,000, while co-anglers will compete for a top award of $50,000, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard.

The 2023 Phoenix BFL Presented by T-H Marine is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 events throughout the season, five qualifying tournaments in each division. The top 45 boaters and Strike King co-anglers from each division, along with the five qualifying event winners, will advance to one of six BFL Regional tournaments where they are competing to finish in the top six, which then qualifies them for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the BFL All-American. The 2023 All-American event will take place May 31-June 2, on Lake Hartwell in Seneca, South Carolina. The event is hosted by Visit Oconee SC.

Proud sponsors of the 2023 MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine include: 4WP, 13 Fishing, Abu Garcia, B&W Trailer Hitches, Berkley, Black Rifle Coffee, E3, Epic Baits, Favorite Fishing, General Tire, Grundéns, Gill, Lew’s, Lowrance, Mercury, Mossy Oak, Mystik Lubricants, Onyx, Phoenix, Polaris, Power-Pole, Strike King, Tackle Warehouse, T-H Marine, Toyota, Wiley X and YETI.

For complete details and updated tournament information, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com. For regular Bass Fishing League updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow MLF5’s social media outlets at Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.